SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition has awarded $23,018 in Neighborhood Small Grants to 14 community projects for 2015.
Now in its 8th year, the Neighborhood Small Grants Program funds small but powerful community efforts aimed at connecting and engaging residents, building community capacity, improving neighborhood livability, and increasing community impact on public decision making.
Funded projects range from intersection murals to design guidelines for new development, leadership trainings for day laborers to community gardens, emergency preparedness workshops to a jukebox highlighting income inequality, and much more.
To learn more about these projects, community members are invited to SE Uplift’s 2015 Neighborhood Small Grants Celebration on Tuesday, March 31st. For more information and to RSVP, visit www.seuplift.org/nsg.
Neighborhood Small Grants are made possible by the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
Images from left to right: Foster-Powell Community Garden, Wage Working, and Portland Street Art Alliance
Below is a complete list of funded projects.
Brooklyn Action Corps, Pride of Place – Brooklyn
Grant Award: $600
Similar to the ‘adopt a road’ concept, Brooklyn Action Corps will establish a network of ‘adopted blocks’ in the Brooklyn neighborhood with the goals of energizing new neighborhood volunteers and empowering neighbors to improve the livability of their community. On a monthly basis, block adopters will pick up litter, remove branches or obstacles from sidewalks, and report any hazards to the appropriate public agency.
Division Design Initiative, Division Design Guidelines
Grant Award: $2027
The Division Design Initiative will develop design guidelines for SE Division St. The project will include outreach events, like a design open house, where community members can provide input and a graphic written booklet that articulates community preferences for development. The project hopes to further strengthen the area’s sense of character and identity, and increase neighborhood influence on public decisions.
Foster Powell Neighborhood Association, Foster Powell Community Garden
Grant Award: $2500
The Foster Powell Neighborhood Association will use grant funds to expand their community garden by building additional garden beds, a community meeting space, a small greenhouse, and more. The garden improvements will allow more neighbors to access the garden and have the opportunity to build skills, form relationships with neighbors, and be involved in improving their community. The goals of the project are to empower residents to grow their own food, connect neighbors, improve neighborhood livability, and foster neighborhood pride.
Hacienda CDC’s Portland Mercado, Haciendo Nichos
Grant Award: $1000
The Portland Mercado plans to host a series of workshops where community members will be invited to learn about and create their own Nicho, a shadow box that holds special treasures and offerings like statues, photos, and cultural symbols. The project hopes to bring together diverse cultures, educate and connect people with Latino traditions, and celebrate community.
Harrison Park Community Garden, Signs of Growth – Community Notice Board & Art Project
Grant Award: $1700
Harrison Park Community Garden will build two community notice boards for multilingual announcements and educational materials for the garden. Each notice board will include a large chalkboard space where community members can write their own thoughts and announcements, as well as a shelf space for veggie sharing. Additional, a community art project will generate small signs to mark personal beds and desired future developments, and serve as an opportunity for creative self-expression and community placemaking in the garden.
Milagro Theatre, CEID Community Engagement Series
Grant Award: $1500
Beginning in Spring 2015, Milagro will host a series of community engagement meetings for the diverse creative and business residents of the area to discuss how inner southeast Portland can remain both a hub for economic development and art and culture. Additionally, participants will work together to create a cultural and creative inventory map and resource list for the neighborhood.
Montavilla Young Makers Club, Montavilla Middle School STEAM Conference
Grant Award: $2500
The Montavilla Middle School Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) Conference will bring students, educators and families from the Montavilla neighborhood together to explore both STEAM and other educational opportunities that exist in the community. The one-day conference will help expand the possibilities and opportunities that participating students see for their future.
North Tabor Neighborhood Association, North Tabor Intersection Mural
Grant Award: $1000
North Tabor Neighborhood Association will create an intersection mural along the 50’s bikeway with the goals of increasing renter involvement in the neighborhood, slowing traffic, and strengthening neighborhood identity. The project will unite neighbors towards a simple and easily accomplishable project, helping to inspire trust and forge a stronger community.
PDX Toy Library, A Toy Library for All Children
Grant Award: $1495
The PDX Toy Library will reach out to families from historically underrepresented backgrounds across our community to encourage their participation in three free public events: a playdough making class and two family game nights. Grant funds will also allow the Library to expand their toy collection to include toys and games from a variety of cultures. The project seeks to ensure the resources of the Library extend to all children who could benefit from greater access to high quality toys.
Portland Street Art Alliance, Art Fills the Void
Grant Award: $1700
Portland Street Art Alliance will provide the public with an interpretive bicycle tour of existing pieces of public art in Southeast Portland. Descriptions, histories, and explanations of the artwork will be provided for all art pieces along the tour and several local artists will be invited to speak at murals, providing a first-hand glimpse into their creative processes and experiences. The day after the tour, Portland Street Art Alliance will host a community event where community members can help rejuvenate one of Portland’s oldest community murals, Art Fills the Void.
Reed Neighborhood Association, Reed Neighborhood Placemaking Project
Grant Award: $1700
The Reed Neighborhood Association will create an intersection mural with the goals of improved safety, a greater sense of community amongst neighbors, and increased neighborhood pride. The project will also help to build a strong foundation for collective identity, cohesion and resilience within the community.
Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League, Getting Ready for the Big One & Other Neighborhood Emergencies
Grant Award: $396
Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League will use grant funds to provide educational workshops to 50 neighborhood blocks within the SMILE boundaries on how to become involved and engaged in preparing for a natural or manmade disaster. Each block will receive 3 one-hour workshops taught by neighborhood volunteers. The goals of the project are to increase neighborhood emergency preparedness and to strengthen the neighborhood by engaging neighbors block by block, person by person.
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, New Americans Job Fair & Workforce Leadership Development
Grant Award: $3000
With grant funding, Voz will provide workforce development trainings such as English and computer classes, and job readiness trainings. Additionally, they will organize a Construction and Trades Career Fair in the summer to connect new Americans (day laborers, legal residents, and naturalized citizens) to construction work and apprenticeship programs.
Wage / Working, Exploring Labor & Income Inequality through Oral History in SE Portland
Grant Award: $2600
Wage/Working will use oral history to explore income inequality. Workshop participants will record stories from local workers and edit them to the length of time it takes that worker to earn a dollar. The resulting stories will be placed inside of a jukebox that will travel throughout the SE Portland.